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Chicago Referencing

Key information

Elements of footnote

AI tool name, response to “Full text of prompt,” Company Name, Date of prompt, URL.


If the prompt hasn’t been included in the text, it can be included in the note:

26  ChatGPT, response to “Explain how to make pizza dough from common household ingredients,” OpenAI, March 7, 2023.


26  Text generated by ChatGPT, OpenAI, March 7, 2023,

Subsequent notes

29  ChatGPT response, March 7, 2023. 

Elements of bibliography entry

As of November 2023, Chicago Style Guide recommends that a footnote is used but no reference list entry.
  • ChatGPT stands in as “author” of the content, and OpenAI (the company that developed ChatGPT) is the publisher or sponsor, followed by the date the text was generated.

  • After that, the URL tells us where the ChatGPT tool may be found, but because readers can’t necessarily get to the cited content  that URL isn’t an essential element of the citation.

  • Don’t cite ChatGPT in a bibliography or reference list unless you provide a publicly available link (e.g., via a browser extension like ShareGPT or A.I. Archives). Though OpenAI assigns unique URLs to conversations generated from your prompts, those can’t be used by others to access the same content.

  • If you’ve edited the AI-generated text, you should say so in the text or at the end of the note (e.g., “edited for style and content”).

Risks with using AI
  • AI models sometimes produce incorrect, biased or outdated information. 

  • Additionally, there may be legal or ethical issues to consider when using AI. Works created by non-humans are not eligible for copyright protection under Australian law. If you intend to publish work incorporating AI-generated content, check the publisher guidelines about what is allowed.

  • When interacting with AI models, you should be cautious about supplying sensitive information, including personal, confidential or propriety information or data.